The National Cycle Network's new portrait benches

New local heroes cast in metal with their very own portrait bench on the iconic National Cycle Network in honour of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Illustrations of the heroes being celebrated in Nottingham through ߣߣƵ' Portrait Benches project

Announcing our new portrait benches

Early in 2022, we asked residents across England to nominate their local heroes – people who have made a positive impact on their local communities.

These ‘heroes’ have been immortalised in steel as part of our portrait bench campaign.

Read more about our local heroes and where you can find these new artworks.

What is a portrait bench?

Portrait benches is a project led by ߣߣƵ to commemorate local heroes across the regions through which the National Cycle Network travels.

In total, so far, we've created over 250 of these life-sized figures across the length and breadth of the Network.

Fabricated from steel, the special portraits celebrate local historical or cultural figures, watching on as you take a rest on a bench at different Network routes across the country.

The last instalment of these was 11 years ago when we celebrated local heroes including:

  • famed authors
  • Olympians
  • entertainers
  • community volunteers
  • national treasures
  • representations of occupations that have been the backbone of their region.

Our brand new portrait benches

Thanks to funding from the Department for Transport, we launched a series of artworks across England as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

We asked the public to nominate who, in the last 70 years (alive or passed), they thought these inspiring benches should represent.

Now our newest portrait benches are ready. They include:

  • pillars of the local community
  • famous individuals
  • and influential role models.

These new portraits have been created by the skilled hands of artists Katy and Nick Hallett.

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